Although much progress has been made in the fight against poverty in western Uganda, many families still need support. Photo by Jake Lyell.
ChildFund has worked in Uganda since 1980. With approximately 35 percent of the country's population living in poverty, many children in need and their families go without nutritious food, clean drinking water and basic health care. Although progress has been made in reducing poverty across much of Uganda, communities in the country's western regions have fared particularly well, according to data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.
A survey conducted by the UBS indicated that approximately 15.2 percent of families living in western Uganda had emerged from poverty between 2010 and 2012. Although this is a positive development, other parts of Uganda continue to experience chronic difficulties. In the north, almost 30 percent of the population remains in severe poverty, with an additional 17.3 percent of the population slightly better off but still falling below the poverty line during the same time period. Approximately 18 percent of families living in eastern Uganda also lived in poverty between 2010 and 2012.
The survey did not delve into the causes of differences in poverty levels by region, but in general, rural Ugandans (mainly in the north and east) are more likely to live in poverty than those in urban areas like Kampala and points west.
Nationwide, around 10 percent of Ugandan families emerged from poverty during this time, but 13.5 percent slipped below the government's poverty line, indicating that more action must be taken to address the persistent gaps in fighting child poverty across the country.
In addition, around 67 percent of Uganda's population is at high risk of falling into poverty, revealing that many families are dangerously close to enduring hardships.
Providing access to health care and early childhood development programs are two major goals of ChildFund and other nongovernmental organizations working in Uganda. Diarrhea, respiratory infections and malaria are the leading causes of death in Ugandan children under the age of 5, all of which are preventable. Our programs, such as providing chemically treated mosquito nets to families and sponsoring children, have made a real impact on Ugandan families.
"As a sponsored child, I had access to medical facilities," says Katherine, a former sponsored child who is now a news manager for a Ugandan radio station. "I also benefited from the fact that I no longer had to miss school because of unpaid fees."
Sponsoring a child is an excellent way to invest in the future of a Ugandan child, and there are other ways you can help us fight child poverty. Becoming a monthly giving partner allows us to provide aid to families where the need is greatest. Please consider sponsoring a child or becoming a monthly giving partner today. Your generosity and support will make a difference that will last a lifetime.